The Washington City Paper’s review of the film The Gatekeeper (Short Subjects, 10/24) is not only pompous, shallow, and ill-informed, it borders onno, it isracist.
Your reviewer finds the film’s premise (smugglers force undocumented migrants into indentured service in a methamphetamine lab) “far-fetched.”
In fact, human traffickers force an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 men, women, and children into precisely such situations every year. And it happens right here in the United States. Most may not wind up in meth labsthey are most often forced into prostitution, sweatshops, or fields.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (hardly high on my list of human-rights advocates), “approximately 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States each year.” The department adds, “Trafficking in persons is increasingly perpetrated by organized, sophisticated criminal enterprises….Profits from the trafficking industry contribute to the expansion of organized crime in the United States and worldwide.”
There is nothing far-fetched about the film’s portrayal.
Equally disturbing about the review is the racism that permeates it. The reviewer may find his reference to the main character’s “whore-mamí” cute or witty. It is neither. It is insolent and deeply offensive and has no place in a newspaper serving a multicultural community. Ay caramba, neither does your reviewer.